With plenty of consistency in the forecast models, the outlook for severe weather today has been pretty constant. This morning is no different as we enter the final hours before the beginning of this event. As you can see in the graphic to the right, the Storm Prediction Center has posted a slight risk for nearly the entire state of Iowa. This threat is associated with a low pressure center and a warm frontal boundary expected to drape across the state from west to east.
Here’s how all of this will break down. With the help of some sun and warmth, things should quickly destabilize this afternoon across areas of southwest Iowa. This is the area sometime around 4pm we’re hoping to see the first supercells take shape.
As you look at the graphic on the left, you can see a pretty good shot at tornadoes in this area. There is some concern the window of opportunity for tornadoes to form will be somewhat limited. That’s okay with me because since it’s still early in the season, the amount of daylight is not as good as it is in May. Right now it looks like the greater Interstate 80 corridor in the western half of Iowa will be the best area to see tornadoes today from 4pm to 7pm.
The best chance for severe weather during this event will come in the form of hail. We could also see some strong gusty winds, but hail and tornadoes appear to be the primary threat at this time. Another tricky thing for chasers today will be the speed of these storms. Any cells that form are expected to move around 50mph which will make tracking these storms extremely tough. Even so, storm chasers will likely activate this afternoon and we are also making plan to hit the road ourselves. I expect to launch live coverage this afternoon and hope to bring you as much live coverage as possible from the road.
If needed, we’ll provide a new update later this morning if needed. Otherwise we’ll continue to make plan to hit the road and see what we can find later this afternoon.